WWE Royal Rumble 2019 Review

Date January 27, 2019

City Phoenix, Arizona

Venue Chase Field

Attendance 33 000 Paid, 40 000 Total

This was one of the most fun WWE ppvs in a long, long time. Top to bottom it may not be as good as some previous shows in terms of match quality but every match on the main show felt different and important in its own self contained self. Overall a great way to kick of ppvs for WWE.

Asuka def Becky Lynch From Royal Rumble 2019 (Sd Live Women’s Title)

I gotta say the MOTN right here. There are many matches some could argue for being MOTN tonight but this was the one for me. It started somewhat slow with some great exchanges and technical wrestling. Asuka felt like her old dominant self here and had probably the best singles match of her main roster career here, it was better than the Charlotte match and the Sasha match from raw prior to Mania. The women are on a hot roll right now, from Summerslam to Hiac to Supershow to Evolution to Survivor series to Tlc to now the Rumble. The women are getting better and better and building steam towards what’s now being speculated as the very first women’s Wrestlemania main event!

Asuka submitting Lynch is a curious decision as now when Becky entered the Rumble it felt like a second opportunity instead of a come from behind win. That’s for later but as of now what a great way to kick of a really fun ppv. Asuka continues to look strong and hopefully she gets a mania spot out of this!

Rating: ****¼

Shane McMahon and The Miz def The Bar (Sheamus and Cesaro) from Royal Rumble 2019 (Sd Live Tag Team Titles)

This match was hated by many for its outcome and while not the best Tag match of even the weekend, this was something that overachieved I’d say, the story was that Shane and Miz were fighting to make Miz dad proud. The action was simple even though Shane was made to look strong but you see the thing is, it’s not a new thing anymore. Shane has gone toe to toe with The Undertaker, Aj Styles and Kevin Owens. Him teaming with Miz to beat The Bar isn’t so out of nowhere as everyone is making it seem. Not to forget Shane went for a Coast to Coast only to be caught mid air into a Cesaro Swing set up. It really looked like he hit the back of his head hard. Shane finished the match with a shooting star press which was also quite spectacular even if it sucked for Cesaro’s walnuts.

The match was also kinda stiff with Cesaro and Sheamus looking like proper brutes for Miz and Shane to overcome. I gotta say Cesaro and Sheamus aren’t coming out of this looking bad at all, especially not as bad as what happened with Braun Strowman and Nicholas, now that took months and months to recover from. People said that the Strowman thing was just entertainment, well I gotta say this was much more competitive and a much better match overall from bell to bell. This was a good tag title match that served its purpose and overall probably leading to something at Mania.

I do gotta say though, them winning the Raw Tag Titles may have been better as their division is dead, so having a super team would do well from the division, even if they do run through them.

Rating: ***¼

Ronda Rousey def Sasha Banks from Royal Rumble 2019 (Raw Women’s Title)

This was a step below the Sd women’s title match for me personally but many had it as their MOTN as well which I won’t argue. Some spots were a little sloppy but overall it was quite a good performance. Not as good as the Charlotte or Mania match for Ronda but another chance for her to prove why she belongs as one of the few best women’s wrestlers on the roster. Ronda just seems more real than most, her match with Sasha was a good wrestling match in a way, as dominant as Ronda may have been she’s still outwrestled by Sasha. I mean this isn’t Ufc, it’s the WWE.

Sasha through everything but the kitchen sink at her and couldn’t get the win. The match had an abrupt finish with a sort of rolling AA move called the Pipers Pit. Ronda gets her first PPV pinfall win here which is good as it adds another decisive move to her arsenal. After the match Sasha leaves and comes back to hold up the four horse women sign perhaps to watch out for Becky and Charlotte.

Rating: ***¾

Becky Lynch Wins The Women’s Royal Rumble Match from Royal Rumble 2019

This was a long rumble even by the matches standards. Going 71 plus minutes this match may have been the longest iteration of the match with the exception of the Greatest Royal Rumble. The majority of the match was nothing until the very end where expectedly Becky Lynch came into replace an injured Lana. This was weird as it felt like Becky was handed an opportunity instead of a come from behind redemption. I mean Becky choosing Ronda is also strange as she couldn’t even beat the Sd champion so she went for the Raw champion. It was a really weird booking decision to have her tap earlier in the night despite how good the match is. There were a lot of cool spots here like a walking handstand spot and a barricade leap. In fact some of the spots were so good that the Kofi spot this year was a let down compared to them.

They took longer than expected for some of these spots, for the fact that the time it took each person to come out was very inconsistent. The final four by the end of it all were Bailey, Charlotte, Nia Jax and Becky Lynch. Bailey would be the first to go followed by a sneak elimination of Nia by Becky, who eliminated her despite being on the outside of the ring. Finally Nia would injure Becky’s leg leading to officials asking if she wants to continue. Becky accepts and after some exchange she flips a Charlotte big boot over the top rope for the elimination  and the win. They were smart to have Becky and Charlotte as the final 2 because they both had a claim to being potential winners of the match. Overall the Becky win should’ve closed the show because while there were only 2 realistic winners for the Women’s Rumble, the Men’s Rumble was far more predictable with Rollins bring the only potential winner. The final moments of the match made it better than last years encounter.

Rating: ***½

Daniel Bryan def Aj Styles from Royal Rumble 2019 (WWE Title)

This match fell victim to having to follow the Royal Rumble. It was a technically sound match with targeting of the body parts and crisp exchanges but it just lacked any crowd investment. While some call it boring, I’d say it’s far from that but it’s still a disappointment when looking back at their MOTY contender for WWE that they had just a year prior. While nowhere as good as their previous match, if the crowd had been invested this would have still been a great match even if not the level of their previous encounter. Bryan and Aj are two of the best wrestlers on the roster and out of everyone they probably fared the best in this spot since they were building a slow pace to begin with transitioning into more intense moves later.

The match however had a not so good ending at all. Rowan showed up and predictably shortly after there was a ref bump, Aj did however get the visual pin over Bryan after a Styles Clash but was shortly after hit with a chokeslam of some variation, which lead to the pinfall win for Bryan. Very good match but dead crowd and a bad finish just because no one cares for Rowan. Under other circumstances could’ve been MOTN or at the very least second.

Rating: ***¼

Brock Lesnar def Finn Balor from Royal Rumble 2019 (WWE Universal Title)

This was shorter than most of your Brock Lesnar vs smaller man matches, it lasted just over 8 minutes but for a short match it was pretty cool. Lesnar dominated Balor early after a short flurry of offence at the start from Balor. Balor would later capitalize by sending Lesnar into the corner of the announce table and (kayfabe) reinjure his abdominal area which years ago had been affected by diverticulitis. This was clever as a lot of people can relate to running into something sharp and therefore more believable when Balor hits the Coup De Grace. No one really expected Balor to win but we did get a pretty good match out of it. I have no doubt this could’ve been up there with the Aj and Bryan matches had it gone lets say 5 minutes longer but that wasn’t meant to be as Lesnar quickly locked in the Kimura Lock following the Coup De Grace and made Balor tap after some resistance.

Balor looked good in the match as he did competitively compete with Brock despite him not really having any chance. The table spot was cool as it gave him a chance strategically. Hopefully Balor does something of note following a Universal Title match at the Co Main event spot and doesn’t just flounder. An Intercontinental title win should do wonders for his character as they do need a new Seth Rollins to fill those shoes and there isn’t a better alternative than Balor.

Rating: ***¾

Seth Rollins Wins The Men’s Royal Rumble Match 2019

This was a fun Royal Rumble match, sadly it was also not very memorable. There were some good spots in it like a somewhat disappointing Kofi spot, Jeff Jarrett returning and some Nxt debuts. Johnny Gargano, Aleister Black and Pete Dunn were just some of the talent that made their Rumble debut tonight. It was nice seeing these guys interact with potential future matchups, however it looked like no one here was too keen on selling for them and therefore most of the talent involved got pretty lackluster eliminations by the likes of Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin. I couldn’t even remember who eliminated Pete Dunn.

There wasn’t an awful lot of substance here as all nothing was built of the Rumble, it was largely just there for fun and I liked it for it. Nia coming at Number 30 to attack R Truth and enter the Rumble herself was disappointing but also funny. In the end everyone hit their finishers on her to eliminate Nia.

The final four here were Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler and Almas. This was weird as there was only 1 Smackdown superstar and there wasn’t a chance in hell that he’s winning. Dolph was also a clear non factor, and as opposing as Strowman is there was almost no way anyone would’ve thought Rollins may not win. Almas was the first to go followed by Ziggler. Rollins and Strowman had a little exchange before Rollins took Strowman out with a Curb Stomp on the apron which sent Strowman to the outside and resulted in a win for Rollins. It was a fun Rumble but it won’t be remember even a couple of years from now.

Rating: ***½

Overall: 8.3/10

One of the most fun ppv’s in a very long time and overall a good show. The length is the only big downside here as we did also watch the pre show but just didn’t bother to include it in the review. More shows like this are most welcome by WWE. I couldn’t possibly name the “bad” match on the show, Aj Bryan was disappointing but far from bad. Really good show, this almost gets you wanting to watch more WWE ppv’s. Bring on the Elimination Chamber please.

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